Our bodies are in a rhythm that mirrors Nature and during summer our vital force or Qi has been expansive, this yang energy moving outward and upward has been dominant. As summer draws towards a close, Autumn Equinox is under a month away these grounding and nourishing energies help us ground that expansive yang energy of the summer down and inward towards a more yin and nurturing time.
Before we reach autumn, however, we are in a period where we are in our highest yang, the heavenly fire in our heart centre and our middle dan tien (energy centre) are at their energetic peaks, illuminating our intellect and influencing the source of our inspirations and creativity.
It can also be a time when many thoughts flood the intellect and the energy of ‘over thinking’ can occur. It is important to remember that our intellect is only ten percent of our minds, its good to remember reason and logic. Before I really thought about logic or reason I found myself furiously cleaning my flat this week, wading my way through my mind, talking to myself as I attempted to find clarity amongst the old emotions and the new emotions surfacing. Hoovering frantically around the beds and even rearranging my kitchen cupboards coming to the conclusion that just like nature outside it seems time to consolidate everything that summer has fruited and consolidate and prepare for the grounding to come. Now it was serious, this meant a proper clean out.
I’ve been through all my cupboards, tidied all my surfaces, put away all my beach clothes as I’ve had my last beach holiday of the year and I took anything I don’t wear any longer to the charity shop. I believe that if you’ve not worn it for a few years, you’re not going to wear it again - so it goes!
I got to my bathroom, opened my cupboard and had a moment of horror as I took in the level of my beauty consumption. Spilling from my cupboard were various face creams, face masks, body lotions, body oils, hand creams, more nail varnish colours that I’d ever wear, hair serums, coconut oil in its various guises, first aid lotions, potions and creams, foot scrubs and files, even those bright pink fake nails I thought I would wear at some stage, and then that shaving foam from a boyfriend who hasn’t been around for a while! That same mantra I used for my clothes must apply to my skin care too.
Our skin, this amazing organ, is the largest organ in the body and one of the five detox organs of the body, the lungs, kidney, colon and liver being the other four. Our skin absorbs everything we expose it to. This includes all those lotions, potions, perfumes, deodorants, cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, even the water we bathe in, E V E R Y T H I N G! Due to the sheer surface area that the skin takes up and weighing in between 2.7 and 4 kilos, (6 - 9 pounds) it is key in helping us to stay healthy.
SMART PRODUCT SWEEP
The clear out has started, but what to throw and what to keep? I had no idea how old some of the products were, some didn’t have labels on them, so I found this handy guide:
I then went back through all my products that were still left and removed anything that was toxic, I think this was also a process of removing toxic emotions from my mind! (There was very little as I do buy organic skin care, but a few things had slipped my filter, especially on the make up front).
As a guide, start by eliminating lotions, soaps, and cosmetics that contain toxic chemicals, parabens is a real no go and a good starter point. Parabens have been strongly linked to excess estrogenic activity in the body, which can lead to breast cancer and birth defects if used for multiple generations. They have been linked to lower sperm count in men, and cause reproductive issues in women. There are actually thousands of chemicals you’d rather not put into your body. But unless you know, because you’ve gone out of your way to learn the ingredients, no one knows how horrible they are.
Here is a website to help with those confusingly named ingredients.
THE INNER AUTUMN CLEAN
I’m 38 and I notice not only my inner health being reflected in my skin, but also my emotional health and my hydrations levels in my beautiful frown lines. My skin is different every single morning I wake and it shows me exactly what my intake was the day before. So what else can I do to help maintain my youthful glowing looks as I focus on the energies coming back inside and being more Yin?
Autumn is related to the metal element in Chinese Medicine and as the weather gets cooler the energies naturally start to draw the yang high energies down and nurture water and moisture the body. One of the most important way to help support this balance is to remain hydrated. Water is so important for healthy skin, it lubricates it and in the same way water lubricates our internal organs and joints, keeping them all soft and supple. Without water the tissues in the body become crippled at the cellular level; they shrivel and lose their ability to function properly. They’re unable to do the basic things that every cell needs to do to survive, which is to absorb nutrients and excrete metabolic waste products.
Without water, we are unable to process correctly, from what we ingest to what we feel. So after a large glass of water my final conclusion to the high Yang energy creative moment is that there is definitely something to be said for organizing your space, my head is so much clearer, my cupboards are clean and I’m starting to feel grounded and ready for the change of energies that fall will bring.
London Lead, SERENE Social
Davina has been working in the Health and Wellness industry for over fifteen years and has been teaching Yoga for ten years. Davina’s classes encourage you to come home into the body using the beauty of combining the breath with movement and mindfulness with stillness. Having taught and lived in India, Italy and Ibiza Davina has now moved back to London bringing with her a wide experience and knowledge of alternative therapies, diet and nutrition and wholesome living. She teaches regular weekly group and private classes in Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Pre and Post Natal yoga throughout central London. She is also the founder of GlamRaw.